NHL trade deadline passes quietly for the Chicago Blackhawks: ‘Some chatter but not a whole lot of substance there’

Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/TNS

NHL trade-deadline day came and went Friday without a peep from the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Some chatter but not a whole lot of substance there,” general manager Kyle Davidson said about getting feelers from other teams.

The only departures this week: Anthony Beauvillier, whom the Hawks traded to the Nashville Predators for a fifth-round draft pick, and Boris Katchouk, who was placed on waivers and claimed by the Ottawa Senators.

The Hawks acquired Katchouk, along with Taylor Raddysh and two conditional first-round picks, in March 2022 when they traded Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Katchouk had five goals and four assists in 38 games for the Hawks and put up three goals and two assists during a six-game stint with Rockford.

“At times he gave us some big boosts,” coach Luke Richardson said. “I don’t think it was consistent, but I don’t think anybody on our team has been that way this year.

“It’s a good young team that’s got some good offensive power and I think he showed at times here (he has) some good speed and offensive abilities. So hopefully this is a good opportunity for him.”

The Hawks waived Katchouk with hopes he would clear and be eligible for an IceHogs playoff run.

The Predators pushed for the Beauvillier trade. General manager Barry Trotz was familiar with him from when he coached the left wing with the New York Islanders.

“That was a huge part of it,” Davidson said. “Barry had some previous experience with Anthony and so that familiarity was something that definitely came into play with him showing some interest and eventually getting a deal done.”

For Davidson, the trade season was quite the departure from the last two years, when he swung big deals involving Hagel and Patrick Kane, respectively.

“Last few years were just stressful for different reasons,” Davidson said. “The activity, the gravity of some moves. This year was … a different kind of stress because the last two deadlines I’ve worked have been so busy that this felt different.

“You’re thinking, ‘Is there something else I should be doing?’ It was different. To say it was much more quiet would be an understatement. … You still work the phones the same, but there’s less substance in those phone calls, which feels like you’re spinning your wheels a bit.”

Davidson didn’t have a particular trade he was targeting but he was ready to deal if the right compensation was there.

It wasn’t. The market was tighter than previous seasons, he said.

“It felt more unpredictable this year, just seeing some of the different deals around the league,” Davidson said. “Some of the players that got first-round pick packages were very good players, and that made sense, but it seemed like there were fewer in that midrange — that two-, three-, four-round range.

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“Just didn’t see as many of those picks moved this year.”

For rookie Connor Bedard, it was his first time experiencing the tension of a trade deadline.

“I think it’s a weird, weird day for everyone,” he said. “When you’re on a team and you’re together so much you become so close with everyone, so when a guy goes, obviously those two (Beauvillier and Katchouk) they’re going to be missed a lot.

“It’s sad to see people go and just kind of the anticipation of the whole day is something that is new for a few of us. The ‘W’ (Western Hockey League) did it but I think maybe it’s less public. But yeah, it’s definitely weird.”

Bedard spent a lot of time with Beauvillier in January while Bedard was recovering from a broken jaw and Beauvillier from a left wrist injury.

“We were together a lot and we were skating together for a couple of weeks, just the two of us,” he said. “So I spent a lot of time with him there and got close to him. He’s a super good dude.”